This week it was revealed that Lord Stuart Polak, a professional lobbyist for Israel, had accompanied the now ex Minister for International Development, Ms Priti Patel, to no less than 12 secret meetings with Israeli politicians and/or security officials. There are also rumours of other undisclosed meetings yet to be identified. None of these undocumented meetings were apparently recorded and the Government has no indication of what was said or agreed to by either the peer in question or the then Minister.
Israel, of course, is the only undeclared nuclear weapons state in the world with an estimated underground arsenal of between 200-400 nuclear warheads – enough to incinerate and irradiate the whole of the Middle East and most of Europe. The Israeli state is not a member of NATO nor of the EU. Neither is it a signatory to the worldwide nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT), nor apparently to the international Chemical or Biological Weapons Conventions to which the rest of the international community are signatories.
And therein lies the potential danger to the United Kingdom whose future relationship with this Middle Eastern state is unknown. What we do know is that Israel is already in gross breach of UNSC Resolution 2334 and that the Netanyahu government is expected to be replaced with a more radical Right-wing administration in the near future that will want to forcibly annex the Occupied Territories.
As for lobbyist Lord Stuart Pollack, very little is known except that he was born in Liverpool and apparently runs ‘the most effective lobbying operation at Westminster’. The only problem being that his lobbying is exclusively in the interests of a foreign state i.e. Israel. According to the Electoral Commission, his lobbying group – the Conservative Friends of Israel aka CFI – has taken no fewer than 162 British Tory politicians on trips to Israel over recent years, including Boris Johnson, George Osborne, William Hague, Ken Clarke, Sajid Javid and Amber Rudd – not to mention the now retired minister, Priti Patel.
Polak is also the current chairman of a lobbying consultancy that advises clients how to gain from the political process and is further reported to be connected to a lobbying consultancy in Israel itself.
There is, of course, something inherently wrong, if not disturbingly undemocratic, about the apparent undue influence upon Britain’s parliament of a powerful but unelected group of lobbyists that appears to exert a stranglehold over our legislature and executive.
This is an untenable position as can be seen from the unsavoury episode this week whereby this professional lobbyist – who was ennobled by David Cameron – and a government minister, attempted to deliberately usurp the authority of Parliament. Such behaviour might be construed, by some, as seditious.